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Richmond Park News: 10 June 2022


On Thursday, I was pleased to speak in a debate on social housing, raising the concerns of my constituents regarding the lack of accountability of housing associations. Throughout my time as an MP, I have heard reports of housing associations failing to address important repairs, leaving constituents living in poor quality social housing. A key issue is that housing associations are not answerable to either MPs or the local councils, which limits oversight and prevents us from advocating for our constituents as strongly as we would like.

I am pleased that the Government has finally introduced the much-needed Social Housing Regulation Bill this Parliament, which will strengthen the powers of the Regulator of Social Housing to intervene in cases where landlords are not meeting the set standards. I will be closely following this Bill as it progresses through Parliament. You can watch a clip of my contribution to the debate here.

I also raised an important point about council tax banding for social housing. Based on house prices in the surrounding roads, many of the social housing properties in my constituency have been put in a council tax band that is too high to make their occupants eligible for fuel bill assistance, even if they are vulnerable and on very low incomes. This is something I asked the Government to look at in the clip here.

It is important to note that Tuesday 14th June marks five years since the horrific fire at Grenfell Tower. This tragic event highlighted chronic failures in building control and regulations. I welcome the work the Government has done to strengthen the building safety system in this country as a response. However more must now be done to tackle the wider issues around the poor quality and inadequate supply of social housing. You can read a full transcript of the debate here.


Earlier this week, the RMT union, which represents rail workers, announced three days of planned strike action across the rail network on 21st June, 23rd June and 25th June. On 21st June, the London underground will also be impacted. Around 2,100 members of staff across South Western Railway (SWR) will be participating in the strike, which concerns disputes over pay and working conditions. SWR have warned that there will be severe disruption across its network. They will be publishing a reduced timetable for the affected period in due course.

Whilst I am pleased that SWR will be publishing this timetable in advance, it is unacceptable that individuals may miss work, school or even medical appointments due to a dispute outside of their control. It is crucial that both SWR and the RMT Union get back to the negotiating table. An urgent solution must be found that will not see ordinary people unfairly punished over an industrial conflict